Funeral Letter

Our Funeral Letter Designer (FLD) is made to be easy to use and give a lot of options to create a Funeral Letter Design.

To use our Funeral Letter Designer, you will need a FLD enabled account. If you account does not have the FLD enabled, you can buy the account add-on for the time you need (48 hours or 1 week).

Step 1: Open the Funeral Letter Designer

With your FLD enabled account, you can find the Letter Designer in the main menu. Clicking on the link opens your Letter Designer Manager.

The Funeral Letter Designer works with random generated keys. Every account has a limit of letter templates that may exist at a time, like items in an inventory. You can re-use the key for another design, or delete it, freeing your used keys (so that you can create a new key).

If someone gave you a Public Key, you can load and modify their Funeral Letter Design. This design will not show up on your list or use up one of your keys (a key can only be assigned to one person at a time).

At the top right there is a big blue button Create New Letter, this button creates a new private key and loads the designer interface with that key (using default settings, in the Letter App). Only some accounts can make a letter Public as it defaults to private.

Next on the FLD manager page we have a progress bar indicating how many more letters can be created before you reach the limit.

Below this is a table listing all your current keys. Next to the Key is a list of buttons to the Letter App, Thank You Card App and Bookmark App. Click on app to load the key into the chosen app. There is also a red button to delete the key (although most of the time you can just re-use the existing key).

Below the table we have a feedback form, here your can send feedback – we are looking for ways to improve our Funeral Letter Designer.

Enter the Funeral Letter Designer by either entering a Public Key, clicking on the Creating New Letter button or clicking on a app next to the key from the table. The Designer may take a short while to load.

Step 2 – Designing your Funeral Letter

The Designer Interface

Located at the top of the page is the Header. In this toolbar we have theFuneral.co.za logo; your current key; the App Switcher (to change between Letter App, Thank You Card App and the Bookmark App) the Toolbar with buttons: Templates, Layouts, Backgrounds, Images and Borders; Save Progress and Create PDF.

By clicking on any button a drop-down Sub-menu opens below the Header with more options.

Below the Header and Sub-menu we have the Designer Preview. This preview loads low resolution images to load quickly (some backgrounds for the PDF is over 8MB per page side).

We’ve attempted to make the Designer Preview look as close to the generated PDF as possible. Though this is not always possible, it still gives a good insight into what to expect as a result.

There are a few differences between the different apps, on how the layout works.

The Designer Preview is divided into 4 pages: Cover: P4 & P1; Inside: P2 & P3 (each group on 1 side of an A4 paper; this is how books and booklets are printed).

Step 2.1 – Selecting a Template

Selecting a Template will define the Image Areas of your Funeral Letter, Card or Bookmark.

Click on the Templates button on the toolbar. The Template drop-down preview list will appear. Hovering your mouse over a Template gives you more information on the template itself. There are currently 11 different templates (the grey areas define where images are located). Click on a template to load the template into the designer.

Whenever you change templates, any images that were added previously will be deletedevery template uses a different size image and a previously used image might not fit anymore.

Any other content changes are saved before applying the Template.

Step 2.2 – Selecting a Layout

Selecting a Layout will define the Content Areas of your Funeral Letter, Card or Bookmark.

Click on the Layouts button on the toolbar. The Template drop-down preview list will appear. Hovering your mouse over a layout gives you more information on the layout itself. There are currently 19 different layouts (the grey areas define where content blocks can be). Click on a Layout to load the layout into the designer.

Content changes are saved before applying the Layout.

Step 2.3 – Selecting a Background

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The Background editor will only define what the background will look like. The Cover and Inside may use different images depending on the chosen background.

Click on the Backgrounds button to open the background preview list. We currently have 50+ backgrounds for each app.

Click on a Background preview to load into the designer.

Any content changes are saved before applying the Background.

Step 2.4 – Adding Images to Image Areas

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Some templates have Image Areas where images can be inserted of your loved one. They will be positioned in specific places with a border around them The border can be edited later.

Images are optional, if you do not provide an image, it will just be ignored.

To upload your photos, click on the Images button in the Toolbar. A list of available image areas will appear, depending on the template (maybe 2, maybe 6). Every image area is linked with an uploader in the drop-down Sub-menu. To see which Image Area # to use, hover over an image are, a small tool-tip flag will appear indicating which image area to use, and what image size prerequisite is needed (the required sizes are in pixels and is usually quite big). Uploading an image that is too small will result in an error.

If you have a modern browser, like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox you can Drag and Drop an image into the image area uploader, this will start the upload.

You can alternatively click on the image uploader and browse through to the photo you want to use, and selecting the photo. The uploader will then begin the upload.

If an error occurred, it will be displayed. You can upload a new image to replace the old photo with the new photo.

For every Template there is a Funeral Home Image watermark area (on page 4 at the bottom). This bar will be displayed between the Background layer and the actual text of your letter on the final PDF. The idea is that a Funeral Home can brand the letter with their logo and contact details.

Step 2.5 – Styling your borders

By default all images have borders around them. You are now able to style the borders to be the way you want them to be.

To style the borders, click on the Borders button, and the border options will appear.

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The same numbers of the image areas is used once again to identify which border will be affected.

You can select the colour of the border, the width of the border – these options will reflect in the preview.
You can also set the corner style to either Normal (square corners), Round (will have a slight rounded corner) or Bevel (a small straight cut); and set the border style to Solid (standard line) or Dashed (small spaces, medium spaces or large spaces) – these options do not reflect in the preview, please export to see the change.

Step 2.6 – Adding Content

Adding the content is very simple, we will focus on styling the content in the next step.

In the Designer Preview there are blocks with white dotted borders – each one of them is an optional content block. You can start typing into any one of them to get your content onto the page (alternatively you can also copy/paste your content from any available source into the blocks).

Each text blocks are optional, and blocks may flow over other blocks situated below them (for example; you can use only the top block and load it with content for the whole page, if you so chose).

Unfortunately the content may sometimes spill from the bottom of the page (it is nearly impossible to accurately simulate the exact text sizes and behavior of the content, font sizes used, etc).  For this reason it is necessary to monitor your word count throughout the design.

Now is a good time to Save your Progress (you can save at regular intervals, if you like). Click on the Save Progress button at the top.

Step 2.7 – Styling your Funeral Letter

Every content block also has a name (like the image areas) which appears when you hover your mouse over them.

When you select existing content, the Styling Editor will appear with options for your selected content.

The available options are (from left to right):

  • Bold – makes the currently selected text bold, or if it is already bold, remove the bold.
  • Italics – makes the currently selected text italics, or if it is already italics, remove the italics.
  • Align Left – aligns your content to the left (by default your content is left aligned).
  • Align Center – aligns you content centered.
  • Align Right – aligns you content to the right.
  • Font Size – Allows you to set the text size using a slider (that appears after you click the Font Size button).
  • Font Family – Allows you to specify the font to be used (the options will appear after you click).
  • Font Colour – Choose the colour you want to use.

The colour picker* gives you a palette of colours you can choose from.

*A small note on the colours, this picker makes use of the RGB colour space (used by monitors), when you print the file it will make use of the CMYK colour space (this is what printers use: Cyan/Blue, Magenta/Red, Yellow and Key/Black) – not all RGB colours can be printed (the PDF will convert it to the closest available color swatch).

Step 3 – Exporting your PDF

This is the last step (although it may be required to go back and fix a few issues and then returning to export).

When you are satisfied with your preview, you can Save and click on the Create PDF button. This will open a new window/tab in your browser (you may need to allow popups from theFuneral.co.za) and start the PDF generating script.

Within a few seconds the result will be sent to your browser. On modern browsers it will be displayed in the browser window (if you are satisfied, you can save the PDF to your computer), for older browsers you will need to save and open the PDF (the PDF’s name will be your key) to preview the PDF. A bit of a tedious task, but technology will soon catch up.

If you are not satisfied yet, you may need to return to the Designer Preview and make the appropriate changes, before Creating and Exporting the PDF again.